NFL rookie report: Golden Tate

Publish date:

Two things we know about Seattle rookie wide receiver Golden Tate: he loves late-night snacks (especially those that are glazed) and he makes big plays on the football field.

As Notre Dame's No. 1 target the past two seasons, the 5-foot-10, 199-pound wideout caught 45.4 percent of his team's 55 touchdown passes -- an incredible figure for someone who possesses neither ideal speed nor size. Tate just has a feel for how to get open, and the fact that he played in Charlie Weis' pro-style offense cannot be overstated.

In 2009, Tate's efforts earned him the Biletnikoff Award, given each year to the nation's top wide receiver. Considering the previous two winners of the award were Michael Crabtree and Calvin Johnson, that bit of news should sit favorably with fantasy owners.

Dissecting the depth chart: The Seahawks have a lot of 'name' receivers, but other than T.J. Houshmandzadeh there isn't one that Tate won't be expected to bump out of his way prior to the start of the season. Deon Butler did little as a rookie last season (15 catches), and Deion Branch has done little since leaving New England four years ago. Tate has fresher legs than the rest of his competition, and the fact that Pete Carroll -- a USC guy -- handpicked Tate -- a Golden Domer -- should say plenty about how much respect Carroll has for his top offensive rookie.

Just the stats: Considering Notre Dame's schedule, there may not have been a more tested wide receiver in all of college football last season. And yet Tate got better with each passing week, destroying every secondary he came across. He caught eight or more passes in seven of the team's final eight games, and caught at least one touchdown in 10 of 12 contests. The best day of his career was probably his nine-catch, 244-yard effort against Washington last year, although his 201-yard and three-touchdown day against Stanford in the season finale rates a close second. Tate ranked ninth in the country in receptions (93) and tied for second in touchdown catches (15).

Rookie comparison from 2009:Kenny Britt

Like Britt, Tate enters a situation where a lot of reshuffling can be expected. The Seahawks are considering a change at quarterback and must make do with a developing offensive line. And Tate will also be given a chance to emerge as his team's leading wideout, same as Britt, who led his squad with 701 yards last season.

Interesting fact that won't help you: In June, Tate was drafted by a Major League Baseball club for the second time. The Giants took him in the 50th round. The Diamondbacks also selected him in 2007.

What he's worth: Probably not as talented as the two wide receivers selected in round one of April's Draft (Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas), Tate will be given a better opportunity to succeed in his first season. Where he will most likely struggle is in the red zone; Seattle showed favoritism to Houshmandzadeh there last season, and has plans to make tight end John Carlson a bigger touchdown target in 2010. Tate can offer good upside as a No. 4 fantasy receiver in most leagues, but his real value will come in future years after Carroll has had time to weed out some of the competition at receiver.

Mike Beacom is a contributing writer for